New MBBS students in Gujarat will have to serve for one year in rural areas instead of five years earlier and have to pay a hefty Rs 20 lakh for refusing
village posting after completing their course, the state government announced on Wednesday.
The government curtailed the mandatory three-year service in rural areas for new MBBS doctors to one year, but raised the penalty amount to Rs 20 lakh from Rs 5 lakh now for refusing to serve in villages for the period.
This change in rule will apply to students taking admission in MBBS course from this year in government medical colleges, said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who handles health and medical education portfolios.
Students, who have already taken admission after giving a bond of Rs 5 lakh, can switch to this new scheme after submitting bond guarantee of additional Rs 15 lakh, he said.
Till now, MBBS students of government medical colleges were required to serve for three years in rural areas as doctors after completing their course. If they failed to do so, they were required to pay Rs 5 lakh to the government.
"We have noticed that many doctors were opting to pay the bond money of Rs 5 lakh to skip the mandatory service of three years in rural areas. This rule was introduced so that people in rural areas get proper healthcare services. Now, we have decided to change this rule, especially when number of MBBS seats have increased significantly in the recent times," said Patel.
"Now, while taking admission in government medical colleges, each MBBS student needs to furnish a bond of Rs 20 lakh with an undertaking that he will serve for one year in rural areas. If, after passing out, he fails to honour the undertaking, he has to pay Rs 20 lakh. Otherwise, the Gujarat Medical Council will not give him permission to take up private practice in the state," he said.
The new rule will be applicable on all MBBS students taking admission in government medical colleges from this academic year, the minister said. However, the norm will not be applicable to those taking admission in self-finance colleges or who have gained entry through all India quota, he clarified. Gujarat currently has 5,360 MBBS seats, including those in self-financed colleges.